She has done it again. Now the graceful has been the telomerase, whose structure has revealed this paparazzi of cell biology. A task of precision that nobody had managed to execute to date. The blissful 'enzyme of longevity' has resisted any attempt to portray it with a decent resolution, but has succumbed to the technical charms of Nogales and to a work done with exquisite care. The tool used for this meticulous work has not been a camera, but a technique known as electronic cryomicroscopy that was awarded in the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson. They laid the foundations for this method, whose application is pioneered by Nogales.
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Telomerase regulation has been implicated in cancer, other human diseases, and ageing, but progress towards clinical manipulation of telomerase has been hampered by the lack of structural data. Our findings provide a structural framework for understanding human telomerase disease mutations and represent an important step towards telomerase-related clinical therapeutics.
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Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres
Telomerase , also called terminal transferase ,  is a ribonucleoprotein that adds a species-dependent telomere repeat sequence to the 3' end of telomeres. A telomere is a region of repetitive sequences at each end of eukaryotic chromosomes in most eukaryotes. Telomeres protect the end of the chromosome from DNA damage or from fusion with neighbouring chromosomes. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster lacks telomerase, but instead uses retrotransposons to maintain telomeres. Telomerase is a reverse transcriptase enzyme that carries its own RNA molecule e.
Cryo-EM structure of substrate-bound human telomerase holoenzyme
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